Staff and Board Members

District Staff

Derek Betts - District Manager NCSWCD

Derek Betts - District Manager, NCSWCD


Derek assumed the role of District Manager for the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District in the summer of 2021.   With over a decade of experience working in the conservation field, Derek began his career with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Anthropology from the University of Miami, followed by a master’s degree in Conservation Biology from Columbia University.  Tapping into his love for conservation and a penchant for travel, Derek then spent several years in the field working for various international conservation NGOs.  Beginning with the Peace Corps, Derek served as a natural resource management volunteer in Mali, working with local communities to promote sustainable ecotourism and elephant conservation.  From there, Derek lived in Gabon, Switzerland, Kenya, and Ethiopia, and worked for organizations such as the United Nations, The Born Free Foundation, The Aspinall Foundation, and Princeton University.  Since returning to the US in 2015, Derek worked for Panthera Cooperation, The African Parks Network, and the Wildlife Conservation Society, helping to manage a suite of conservation projects across the globe.  As a native Long Islander with strong, long-lasting ties to Nassau County, Derek is thrilled to focus his conservation efforts back home and help safeguard Nassau County and its environs for generations to come.

Olivia Calandra - Conservation Technician, NCSWCD

Olivia Cunningham - Conservation Technician, NCSWCD

ISA Certified Arborist

Olivia began working at the NCSWCD in 2018, for a NYS DEC Southern Pine Beetle Grant. She graduated from SUNY Albany with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in Biology. She now pursues her Horticulture Certification from SUNY Farmingdale. During her time with the District, Olivia has become an ISA Certified Arborist and helps provide guidance regarding tree inventories, identification, and overall tree health. She also received her Tree Risk Assessment Qualification, to help monitor and identify potential risk associated with hazard trees. Olivia is the Districts tree health care specialist, and has worked with the local community, as well as other environmental organizations to provide guidance and recommendations. Olivia also helps manage the Nassau County SEPTIC Replacement Program. This program provides $20,000 to Nassau County residents if they choose to convert to a nitrogen-reducing septic system. Olivia works with the applicants throughout the process to collect and submit all paperwork for reimbursement. She also helps applicants find a designer and installer for the program, and pull permits from our local towns/villages. Olivia is on the front-line for the SEPTIC Replacement Program and is proud of how the far the program has come, and continues to go!

Sean Rooney - Conservation Technician, NCSWCD

Sean Rooney - Conservation Technician, NCSWCD


Sean started working for Nassau County SWCD in August 2021. He has an educational background in Physics with minors in Mathematics and Urban Geography. Previously working as a water quality monitor for NYS Parks stationed out of Connetquot State Park, and as an intern for the Dept. of Environmental Conservation Region 1 office. Since joining NCSWCD he has worked on redesigning the website, adding educational resources and developing grant applications for new projects. Some of his passions are promoting public access to natural areas, invasive species management, ecological restoration, and the implementation of green infrastructure in urban planning. Sean has obtained Drone Pilot Certification and studied Urban Forestry and Horticulture since joining the District. He began serving on the Board of Friends of Cedarmere Preserve in 2023. Sean hopes to expand his understanding of local ecology and become a better steward of the land.

Yoan Carrillo - Bookkeeper, NCSWCD

James Reardon- Conservation Technician, NCSWCD 


James began his tenure for Nassau County SWCD in March 2024 with an educational background in Environmental Sustainability & Geography with a skillset in GIS from SUNY Oneonta. Having graduated in the fall of 2022, James was the STARS (Sustainability Tracking & Rating System) intern for the Sustainability Office on campus for a year. This position involved the completion of the STARS report, a document containing a plethora of fields with the interest of quantifying the overall sustainability level of the campus as a whole, as well as the assistance in running a multitude of educational events that promoted a more sustainable lifestyle to faculty and peers. In his final semester, James held a position as a member of a newly installed internship opportunity known as the GIS Taskforce. This was run by the Office of Facilities, Safety, and Physical Plant, and provided students with the opportunity to complete GIS projects for various clients. Additionally, James conducted funded climate research analyzing the presence and absence of different storm types, and overall snowfall totals during the 2021-22' winter season.

During his time at district, James has picked up GIS responsibilities for the S.E.P.T.I.C. Replacement Program, began management on district rain garden initiatives for 2024, and conducted trail work to upkeep Muttontown Preserve for the season.

Yoan Carrillo - Bookkeeper, NCSWCD

Yoan Carrillo - Bookkeeper, NCSWCD

Board Members

Tara Schneider- Board Chair, NCSWCD

Tara Schneider - Board Chair, NCSWCD


Tara Schneider-Moran is a Senior Conservation Biologist for the Town of Hempstead, Department of Conservation & Waterways, with over 20 years experience. Her career with the Town of Hempstead has become multi-faceted; as a biologist, her work has focused on wildlife populations and habitat management. Early on in her career, her scope expanded beyond biology into renewable energy and sustainability initiatives for the Town. During this time, she has written and managed over $12 million in grant funding. In 2022, Ms. Schneider-Moran and colleagues at the Department of Conservation & Waterways achieved the Leadership Circle level for the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, through various initiatives including rain gardens, pollinator gardens, changing landscape practices, community events, and more. Much of this work was possible due to her initiative to restore the Department’s greenhouse, which now grows native plants, pollinator plants, vegetables, and grasses for salt marsh restoration. She has spear-headed many clean energy initiatives including a net-zero energy shellfish hatchery; and the development of the Town’s Energy & Sustainability Master Plan, which prioritizes a section on Waste, Water, and Green Infrastructure. At the Town’s Clean Energy Park, she incorporated a large permeable paver installation and native plantings, to demonstrate the importance of these stormwater runoff mitigation practices. As a result of these and other innovative projects, the Town has been recognized as a NYSERDA Clean Energy Community and a Bronze Certified NYS Climate Smart Community.

Ms. Schneider-Moran currently serves as the Chair for the Nassau County Soil & Water Conservation District, and also chairs the South Shore Estuary Reserve Technical Advisory Committee. Other committee participation includes Drive Electric Long Island Infrastructure Committee, Long Island Clean Energy Leadership Taskforce, Long Island Solar Roadmap Steering Committee, and the South Shore Blueway Advisory Committee.


In 2020, she was a Finalist for the US Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Award. Ms. Schneider-Moran earned her degree from Cornell University.

Eric Swenson - Treasurer, Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee

Eric Swenson - Treasurer, Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee


Eric Swenson served as Superintendent of Environmental Control for the Town of Oyster Bay for 26 years, and is currently the Executive Director of the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, a position he held for the past 19 years. He is the former President and Treasurer of the NYS Association For Solid Waste Management, and a founder and former Secretary of the Federation of New York Solid Waste Associations.. In addition to serving as a Board member of the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District, he also currently serves as the Secretary of the Evan R. Liblit Scholarship Committee, a Board member of the New York Product Stewardship Council,  the Vice President of Friends of Cedarmere, and the Secretary of the Friends of the Bay, while also representing the Village of Mill Neck on the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Harbor Protection Committee.

Patricia Aitken- Secretary, At Large

Patricia Aitken- Secretary, At Large


Pat Aitken is an Oyster Bay native.  Patricia is currently the Coordinator for the Peconic Estuary Protection Committee, an intermunicipal affiliation dedicated to improving water quality in the Peconic Estuary.  


Prior to this position, she was Executive Director of Friends of the Bay, an environmental advocacy group in Oyster Bay, whose mission is to “preserve, protect and restore the ecological integrity and productivity of the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Watershed”.  While at Friends of the Bay, Patricia supervised the citizen science water quality monitoring program, which was honored with an EPA Region 2 Environmental Quality Award in April of 2009.  Patricia was named as a “Trailblazer in Women’s History Month” by Nassau County Legislator Judith Jacobs and a “Woman of Distinction” by New York State Senator Marcellino.     


In addition to serving as an at large member of the Board of Directors of the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District, Patricia is the President of the New York State Ornithological Association (NYSOA).  The mission of NYSOA “to foster interest in and an appreciate of birds, and to protect birds and their habitats” is close to her heart, as her experiences seeing birds as a young child led to her interest in the environment.  She is also a member of the Whaling Museum and Education Center at Cold Spring Harbor.  Pat’s participation with the Soil and Water District, the Museum and Education Center and NYSOA combine her love of water and the marine environment, dedication to her local community and passion for birding.

Meagan Fastuca- Vice Chair, Town of North Hempstead

Meagan Fastuca- Vice Chair, Town of North Hempstead

As an Environmental Specialist for the Town of North Hempstead Meagan works on sustainability initiatives involving wildlife conservation, sustainable landscaping, water quality and conservation and climate action. Meagan has always been passionate about protecting the environment and has master’s degrees in biology and environmental studies. She is a native of Long Island and is very enthusiastic about increasing local wildlife habitat in her own landscape as well as educating others on how they can do the same.  Meagan also serves as Secretary of the Board for the Friends of Hempstead Plains.


Learn more about Meagan's work at 

Reese Michaels: Board Member, Nassau County

Reese Michaels: Board Member, Nassau County


Reese Michaels is an accredited Master Gardener in both Suffolk (2005) and Nassau (2009) Counties. He has helped develop gardens and led seminars at several camps, schools, and churches. He is also a Certified Square Foot Gardening teacher (2012). Currently, a Board Member of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, he is also mentoring the Long Island Community Agriculture Network (LICAN). He has built and tended his own vegetable garden for over twenty years. His great leadership and management skills are the result of owning three businesses and managing over 100. Hygenia Medical Supply Company, Inc. in Carle Place, NY is one of them. 

Town Councilman Lou Imbroto - Board Member, Town of Oyster Bay

Town Councilman Lou Imbroto - Board Member, Town of Oyster Bay


Councilman Lou Imbroto was elected to the Oyster Bay Town Board in 2017. Lou Imbroto is a graduate of Chaminade High School. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Fordham University and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School. He worked as a Manager of Policy and Government Relations and In-House Counsel for the Long Island Contractors’ Association, where, he advocated to repair and rebuild our roads, bridges and local infrastructure. A former Assistant Town Attorney, he once oversaw general litigation and served as a prosecutor for code violations in District Court. To further help protect the quality of life in local communities, Councilman Lou Imbroto was appointed by Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino to serve as our representative on an important countywide environmental committee known as the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District. 

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Mary Studdert - Board Member, Nassau County